EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 1, 2013

After going separate ways for 50 years, veteran barbers reunite talents

By Paul Tennant

---- — NORTH ANDOVER — They’re back.

Back in the 1960s, Frank Serrano and Eric Sideri cut hair at the Salisbury Beach Barbershop. For a couple of young barbers, it was pretty heady stuff. The old Frolics attracted many celebrities and these two guys have cut the locks of Tony Bennett, Paul Anka, Steve Lawrence, Frankie Avalon and other prominent entertainers of that era.

“The only reason we got to trim their hair is because there was no other barbershop within 10 miles,” Serrano said.

Eventually, these two tonsorial artists started their own shops, both in Lawrence. Serrano operated the Casa di Serrano for many years. He pioneered razor styling, according to Sideri, who started Hair Designs for Guys and Gals on Winthrop Avenue.

He had to go to court to win the right to have barbers and hairdressers working in the same shop, he said.

Serrano, a lifelong Lawrence resident, and Sideri, aka Mr. Sid, eventually retired from their respective shops. There was a problem, however. They couldn’t stand doing nothing, they said.

So they took part-time jobs in various area barbershops. Then Serrano, 70, decided to resume his role as business owner. His friend, Sideri, said Serrano wanted to recapture “the same sense of excitement that marked his time in Salisbury.

So Serrano established Frank’s Barbershop at 150 Main St. He opened Oct. 6.

Sideri, meanwhile, saw his friend putting the shop together one day.

“One thing led to another and we decided to work together again — much older, much wiser and much better barbers,” Sideri said.

For now, Sideri is working at the shop Wednesdays, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Serrano works Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Saturday he’s there from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Serrano and Sideri have been working at their trade for a long, long time. Sideri, 77, started when he was 14 1/2. His father, who was also a barber, insisted that he learn a trade, so he went to Massachusetts School of Barbering.

Serrano started at 16 1/2. He attended the Delbec Barber School, then Massachusetts School of Barbering. Both men said they love cutting hair — and don’t appear to be about to quit.

“Work has dignity. I find dignity in work,” Sideri said.

“We still enjoy working and we love people,” Serrano said.

Sideri has lived in North Andover for 52 years. He and his wife Angela, his wife of 56 years, have three sons; 13 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Serrano and his wife, Marie, have four grandchildren.

By the way, unlike some barbers of the ‘60s, Serrano and Sideri have no hard feelings toward the Beatles and the switch from crew cuts to longer hair on men that the rock stars inspired. They adjusted, they said, learning how to style the longer hair styles men adopted in that era.

“The Beatles are responsible for our success,” Sideri said.